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Interview

Give us a short introduction about you.
My name's Isabelle, though I've gone by 'Drakhenliche' (don't ask) online ever since I first met the Internet back in the mid-90's. My background's actually science-based: I studied Neuroscience at university (UCL) and work in the pharmaceutical industry but this is, for me, just to generate bread money. My real passion is in drawing: in particular dragons and anything to do with my 'Daemonslayers' project - check out my other website for a better explanation on that ;)
Other than that I enjoy rock and metal - both music and lifestyle.


What aspect of yourself really stands out? Any peculiar habits or odd fascinations?
I guess a rather defining feature about me is my fascination/obssession with dragons. I first remember painting one in preschool (and I honestly have NO idea where I first heard of them to actually paint one) and from that moment effectively unleashed a monster. I've been drawing, painting, collecting and writing about dragons ever since.


What is that common every day thing that can really make your day?
It's quite easy to make my day - I'm a bit of an expert when it comes to taking pleasure in the little things. I suppose having the feeling that I've accomplished something, no matter how great or small, is always good.


Is there a typical topic, story or concept that fuels your creations? Where does that fascination come from?
Yup. The majority of my artwork is to do with my pet project 'The Daemonslayers' and the fantasy world it's based on, Tymaera. It's an idea I've had since I was very young, though it has grown and changed a lot over the years.
Basically it follows the adventures of Blackjack - a rather washed-up cursed dragon; Shade - an undead werewolf who's a nice guy when he's not a raging monster and Soul (a friend's creation) - another lycanthrope who's seeking to regain her soul which was stolen by a demon as they criss cross the land unintentionally causing more trouble than they put right.


In a world of digital art, what's your opinion about traditional media? Is it an advantage to have experience with real pencils, paint or conventional camera?
I love traditional media! I forsook it for a time when I first discovered Photoshop and the joy of graphics tablets (althought I always did linework first in pen then scan it) but I started to realise there was something lacking in computer coloured art. So although I continued to use the computer for some pieces, I started to expand my range of traditional media and I find it much more satisfying to work in. Plus I think learning to paint with real colours and to shade with real pencils has helped my work to improve greatly over the last few years.


Have you been educated in what you do? Where did you study and how much do you profit from it?
Art-wise I'm self taught. I did art up to GCSE level at school but as mentioned above I chose a more scientific path for my further education. Although I learned some useful things at school I have developed much more after striking out on my own. I found books on drawing - such as Hogarth's dynamic figures one to be of great help. Also online tutorials on colour theory have been useful but the majority of my self-learning has been from trial and many errors.
Generally I draw for enjoyment (and my most enjoyed subject's a little specialised) but I make a reasonable bit on the side from private commissions and occasional licensing. Anything I make usually gets put straight back into purchasing more art materials, be it for traditional media or goes into my New Computer Fun!


Which programs do you use and what do you use them for?
I use Photoshop CS3 and a Wacom Cintiq to colour any digital work I do, but I'm suffer from RSI and Carpal Tunnel so I am sometimes limited in what I can do. I also like to indulge in my love of traditional media since I can't use my computer too much: ink, acrylics, oils, watercolours, pencils, Tria markers... love them all!